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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

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WHILE  IT HAPPENED             251

between the position now and the position then we
have to divide the figures of to-day by two.

In the second, we need not be misled by the
Jeremiahs who tell us that now that we have won
the war we have before us the task of paying for it.
This is not true, or true only to a small extent—to
the extent, that is to say, to which we shall, when alj
these assets and liabilities have been settled up and
balanced, be afflicted with a foreign debt. Let us
leave this question on one side for the time being,
and consider what the position really is with regard
to that part of the war's cost that has been raised at
home. In so far as that has been done, the war cost
has been raised by us while the war went on. In fact,
all the war cost has to be raised by somebody while
the war goes on, because the war is fought with stuff
and services produced at the time and paid for at
the time. But when Americans lend us money to
pay for some of the stuff that they send us, they pay
at the time and we, or our posterity, have to pay
them back later on; this is the only way in which
we can make posterity pay for the war, and then it
only means that our posterity pays America's. It
is not possible to carry on war with wealth that is
going to be produced some day. The effort of self-
sacrifice that war demands has to be made by some-
body during its progress—otherwise the war cguld
not be fought.

That effort of self-sacrifice we have already made
in so far as we have paid for our war cost out of
money raised at home. That money has been raised
in three ways—by taxation, by borrowing saved